What I learned from 60 flights with DJI’s new drone

[Music] here’s the thing i’m a bit torn dji’s mini 2 has been one of my favorite drones they have the perfect balance between good enough image quality fantastic portability and decent price and every single time when somebody especially a new drone pilot asked me which drone they should buy the answer is pretty much always the dji’s mini too so dji recently announced the mini 3 pro and made a very strong case that this drone should be your next best hobbyist drone it has a bigger camera sensor 4k 60 video hdr video larger aperture 48 megapixel photos obstacle avoidance sensor it is jam packed with new features but it’s also a lot more expensive than the mini 2.

So why am i torn well my review process was really a mixed bag okay quick disclaimer i didn’t have any nd filters for this drone they’re not part of the fly more pro bundle so some clips do look a bit choppy and since this aperture goes down all the way to f 1.7 my shutter speeds were highly wild wildly high don’t let that cloud your judgment when you’re looking at video quality here got it fine let’s get into it starting with the hardware compared to the mini 2 the mini 3 pro is just ever so slightly larger it’s a bit longer a bit taller and a bit wider when folded but you will notice it when it’s unfolded the wingspan is much larger which means this drone is not quite as nimble as the mini 2 and you can definitely feel the difference in greater inertia when you’re flying this drone it is a completely new design and it still achieves that 249 grams of weight when used with the standard 37 minute battery although it does go over 250 grams of weight when you’re using the brand new bigger 95 dollar battery that gives you amazing 47 minutes of flight time but but i’ve been having a lot of issues with all those batteries so whenever i would switch to sport mode and just fly for fun or i’m trying to get to the point of interest quickly i would get a battery load error especially during windy conditions and when the drone needs to work extra hard to keep itself balanced it either just comes to a full stop or it starts losing altitude like in this clip that you’re watching right now doesn’t look as bad since the footage is stabilized but it’s very anxiety-inducing just looking at your drone with naked eye just sort of doing its own thing so okay i just heard back from dji and they say that what i’ve been doing is flying under extreme wind conditions which i do admit there were days when it was extremely windy but there were also days when it wasn’t as windy and just by flying drones for like seven to ten years now you sort of develop this like sixth sense when you kind of know if it’s too windy or not and more often than not i was getting the battery load error in the flights that it didn’t seem like it was going to be too windy so to summarize yes the mini 3 pro can handle high winds but the battery in the mini 3 pro might not be able to one new hardware thing are the obstacle sensors mini two never had any but the mini three pro has a pair up front and at the bottom they create a tri-directional obstacle avoidance forward backwards and below and open up options for autonomous flying things like hyperlapse master shots active track paired with apes 4.0 which means this drone can follow you around and avoid trees and buildings and such but the thing you need to know about active track and apas is that it does not work above 4k 30 and it also does not work in portrait mode which is a real bummer i personally rarely fly with sensors on but it is a good extra layer of protection and most people really care for it it did successfully follow me around walking into works backwards and forward but once i had switched to that profile follow so it can follow me from the side it literally hit a tree like seconds later and this actually isn’t my only crash with the mini 3 pro while filming this ski lift right here i tilted my camera upwards and that’s when the drone just started to descend slowly straight into the ground i wasn’t able to stop it or change directions or anything i truly have no idea what happened here i share the flight locks with dji and i will pin the comment as soon as i hear back lastly while i was sharing my flight logs with dji i noticed yet another suspicious behavior with the mini 3 pro while the drone is connected to my pc and it was extracting flight logs with the dji assistant app it started to overheat just by having it running idle and not in flight for longer periods of time it would start to overheat and it would eventually turn itself off so i talked to dji about it and what they said is that in order to achieve the 249 grams of weight they had to remove the internal fan from the mini 3 which does cause the chip to overheat when idle in flight cooling is achieved with the help from rear propellers to feed the air into the set of holes right here dji says there’s nothing to worry about the internal thermometer will power off the drone in order to avoid any further damage and it should have enough time for firmware updates wirelessly transferring photos using quick transfers but i still find this whole thing a bit awkward okay i think it’s time to move on and talk about the good stuff and that is image quality so compared to the previous mini 2 the leap and image quality is immediately evident and is achieved through a number of things first there is the larger sensor and the larger f 1.7 aperture larger sensor just helps with overall image clarity and larger aperture lets more light hit that sensor so your night images are looking a whole lot better here i’m flying the mini 2 with its 2.

8 aperture and i have to keep my iso at 3200 with the mini 3 that number is closer to iso 800 that’s a big difference between the two mini 3 pro also has dual native iso so your night videos really do look great i mean it’s still a small sensor so you know it looks good also the mini 2 never actually had cinelike profiles so the mini 3 just has a lot more detail to work with in post-production too a few other things that improve this drone is that it can now film 4k 60 and it can fill up hdr video just know that hdr video only works up to 4k 30.

There is a slight improvement in video quality while filming in hdr but it doesn’t necessarily make me want to choose 24 or 30 frames per second instead of 60. i mostly shot in 60 because again i didn’t have nd filters and also lately i’ve just been shooting in 4k60 for my personal drum work and i didn’t feel like i was missing out by not having hdr on and i just kept filming in cinelike profile mini 2 never reached 4k60 so i’m really pleased to see it here and the last thing that really makes this drone stand out is the ability to film vertical videos and photos natively just by rotating its gimbal i love this feature so much i love being able to film a 9×16 ratio instead of cropping regular 16×9 video even when it comes to photos i love being able to take vertical photos natively before the rotating gimbal you’d have to take three separate images that dji app would more or less be able to stitch together correctly plus it’s just way easier and more fun to frame up and compose your photos that way instead of doing the 3d image stitching it’s a different mindset and i missed it also this way you get that native wide angle distortion just as landscape intended okay i really like this feature lastly there’s also digital zoom on this drone except it also does not work in 4k60 i don’t love digital zoom but it does mean you could do fun things like dolly zoom clips or help you locate other drones flying near you hey there drone buddy and when it comes to photos i think they look really good despite the large f 1.7 aperture there’s really not a massive drop-off in sharpness even in the corner of the images it looks really nice jpegs you get from the drone are sharp rich and vibrant you can take either 12 megapixel photos or turn on the 48 megabits of photos and 12 megapixel photos look really good and honestly i don’t see a lot of improvements when turning on the 48 megapixel ones it’s actually quite the opposite so let’s pixel peep so as you can see in this example here the night photos actually show a little bit more noise in the shadow here this next side-by-side photo reveals a couple of things i want to focus on first i don’t necessarily see a lot more detail between the two zooming in on the planes here on the side of the building these two photos look very similar to me next the two photos display colors differently the 12 megapixel ones lean more towards the green hue and the 48 megapixel one leads more towards purple you can see it in the buildings in the back but you can definitely see it on this road sidewalk down here i pick a cleaner photo over more pixels any day of the week and sunday i’m not using that also i just really enjoy editing raw photos from dj drones including this one here’s a challenging shot of the lifeguard chair during a sunset but there’s so much information to play with for a nice clean edit and just to prove that point further i’m dragging the exposure slider back and forth look how much you can get out of a single raw it is awesome okay so this leaves us with one last thing to talk about and that is the new dji rc it’s a remote controller with a built-in screen so you no longer have to use your phone it is a smaller version of djsrc pro which itself is great but it’s also super expensive and fairly heavy to lug around for a long time the screen isn’t as bright and you will notice that if you’re used to the rc pro the battery is fantastic i would charge it every now and then but it was never a point of worry i probably got around 30 or more flights when i first charged back to 100 but the only thing i think i was missing is the physical back button the software itself was a bit slower so there’s always a split second of doubt when you’re wondering if you actually press the back button on the screen and one annoying thing is that dji is making the controller work only with the mini 3 pro at launch and to make things even worse you won’t be able to buy it as a standalone product i really hope that changes soon and if you do decide to buy the bundle with the dji rc included it’ll cost you 909 dollars the bundle with the standard remote will cost you 759 dollars and dj is doing something new this time around you can buy just a drone without any remotes if you happen to already have one that option would cost you 669 dollars and you can also add the 189 fly more kit which includes two extra batteries carrying case more propellers charging hub or you can get the 249 fly more pro kit which gives you all the things above except swaps the standard batteries with the extended ones so basically you’re looking at 30 increase in price over the mini 2 fly more combo which still is 600 and that seems to be the current trend with dji drones each one of them is becoming more and more expensive and i get it you’re getting a lot more than you ever did with the mini 2 so you can sort of justify that price but it’s no longer an entry-level drone but hey this is the mini 3 pro perhaps we’ll get a non-pro version next summer mini 2 was and still is an incredible drone with great battery portability connectivity good enough image quality and price and the mini 3 pro drastically improves of one of those things which is the image quality and it’s probably the thing that i care about most so i am torn because i also need to trust my drone that it’s not going to fall out the sky and a lot of the time during this review i didn’t i felt like something could go wrong hopefully these issues could be addressed before the drones start shipping to consumers this summer one time that i was flying it was so windy that i couldn’t could not land the drone so what i did i i just crashed it into the building on purpose and that was the only way i could land the drone but it’s totally fine which means that this drone is uh pretty robust thanks for watching


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